Is there a new chief of police in Gainesville?

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 12:00 a.m.
Alachua County Sheriff Steve Oelrich, his unincorporated territory shriveling with each annexation by the city of Gainesville, has talked recently about how he has authority in Gainesville, how his deputies respond to calls in Gainesville and how a unified agency should be considered.
But Oelrich is not Gainesville's police chief - Norman Botsford is - making a letter to Oelrich from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement all the more ironic.
Oelrich was elected president of the Florida Sheriff's Association. FDLE sent him congratulations on becoming president of the Florida Police Chief's Association.
Oelrich joked about the mistake before a recent Alachua County Commission meeting.
  • Sleaze TV: Not to be outdone by their peers elsewhere, the Gainesville Police Department will start putting pictures and information on prostitution and solicitation arrests on its monthly television program.
    Police agencies nationwide have created cable access programs devoted to prostitution.
    Denver police recently started "John's TV." Orlando police have "Busted" while Charlotte, N.C., has "Shame TV." The most comically named show comes from Calgary, Alberta, Canada - the "Calgary Ho Down."
    "Our new episodes start in August, and we will be putting both the prostitutes and the johns on. This is just one more way for us to make it as uncomfortable as we possibly can for that activity in Gainesville," Cpl. Keith Kameg said. "We haven't come up with a name for the segment yet, but I don't think we will be able to beat that Calgary name."
    GPD's "Police Beat" show airs the second Sunday of every month at 1 p.m. on WCJB TV-20. It is repeated 12 times a month at various times on Cox Cable Channel 12.
  • Strict standards: Tuesday's death of two Osceola County firefighters in a training exercise saddened Gainesville Fire Chief Richard Williams, but he said it shows the importance of maintaining tight standards in training that often involves burning abandoned houses.
    "We start several months in advance planning the training exercise. We don't have flammables inside the structure, we don't use flammable liquids to start the fire," he said. "We have a safety team outside prepared to make a rescue if necessary. We have a backup water supply. We make sure there are not holes in the walls or channels where fire can travel."
    Williams added that a safety officer is appointed for every exercise. That officer can overrule the incident commander if he believes an action is too dangerous.
  • Welcome to town: It used to be that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms traveled from Jacksonville to handle Gainesville cases. Not anymore.
    Now the bureau has a local office in Gainesville's federal courthouse. "With all the calls that kept coming, ATF realized that we needed an office down there," Special Agent Carlos Baixauli said. To contact the office, call (800) ATF-GUNS.
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